Fire hurled at Dave from everywhere, and the player ran, sprinted and vaulted across rocks and boulders with grace never seen before. He was not worried, he was not frightened, but he sure was excited. In his hand was the bolt that could literally slay gods. He had already successfully used it against the Ash King's Chosen One and he was currently very tempted to use it against the great demonic abomination that was chasing him right now.
However, Dave wasn't an irrational person. Naturally, if he could pull off such a stunt, it would be a great achievement and would most likely end the war between the Undead and the Demons right then and there… yet the risk of him failing was too high. He didn't really know what the Ash King was fully capable of. Although the bolt was dangerous, the task of him hitting the Ash King with it was more cumbersome than it would seem to any other person.
The Ash King ha faced off against the Undead King and came out on top, even if the later was facing two opponents at the time, it just told Dave that the creature of flames was a one of the giants of the world of Conquest, and giants couldn't be slain with meager, unthought of methods. Dave would need to rack his brains, know his opponent's capabilities and shortcomings before he could come up with a suitable plan to defeat them.
And right now, to risk the fact that he only needed to hand over the bolt to the Undead Legion to earn his Abyssal Knight Rank, for an attempt that was not certain to work on the Ash King was nothing short of suicidal. He had been lucky this time, but he was certainly not stupid.
Dave kept hopping over the jagged terrain of the Ash King's dominion, while the latter destroyed everything in his that happened to be between him and reaching Dave. By his best estimation, the Ash King was closing in, and would reach him in less than a minute's time at this pace.
Unfortunately he would need more than that to get to Grumpy. With his mount he would have a speed advantage over the demonic ruler. Dave cursed the fact that he couldn't just summon Grumpy right next to him, or have another ride to take him out of the Ash King's Keep territory.
Seconds later, and just as Dave could feel the Ash King almost breathing down his neck, Grumpy showed up right next to Dave. The Basilisk had sensed the disturbance in the area due to his connection with Dave and had come running to meet his master halfway.
Dave could have kissed his onyx colored mount for his initiative but time was of the essence. He happily jumped up and landed right on Grumpy's back, the basilisk immediately turned tail and scurried across the ground like a desert lizard, wiggling his whole body while gaining speed one wouldn't expect from his hulking size.
The Ash King's speed in comparison was lacking, so in his wrath, he swore and slammed an open palm on the ground. The already turmoiled ground rocked forward and fissure broke from the sturdy obsidian ground.
From within the fissures pulsated rivers of lava that gave birth to hundreds of Sworn Stalwarts. They weren't even ordered to chase after the draugr, as in their summoning, they had sensed the Undead and chased after him in motion quite similar to Grumpy.
The massive size and number of the Stalwarts offered them increased speed and the ability to surround Grumpy in the long run. Dave noticed this tactic and grunted, his hand rubbing at his draugr beard tightly.
They needed to keep running for a long while before they would fully leave the Ash King's dominion and return to the fourth Raid Zone, the Drow Kingdom, where Dortha stood watch. It was easier said than done. The numbers of Stalwarts kept increasing as they emerged from the cracking ground all over the Ash King's area.
One of them managed to spawn right under Dave, giving Grumpy a slight scare, as its giant hand emerged from the ground nearly grabbing him. Grumpy's keen instincts did however allow him to hop over it, dodging the other hand trying to accomplish what the first had failed to do. Grumpy slid for a few feet as he landed and continued his escape with renewed vigor.
Two of the Stalwarts furthest away suddenly stopped, realising that they would not reach Dave no matter how they ran. Nevertheless they didn't just give up. They changed tactics, and decided to use cheap shots. They both gobbled up air or energy, enough that their throats bloated to incredible size, white light gathered in their gullets and they spat the energy forward like a torrent of concentrated light ray.
Dave noticed the action going on and prepared accordingly, he hurriedly hopped on Grumpy's tail, holding on with one hand for dear life and with the other, Ajax poised to protect him and his mount.
The light rays both shot at once and fused into one, coming at Dave at bullet speed. Dave opened Ajax's jaws, and the shield absorbed in the energy like an insatiable black hole.
With two Stalwarts exhausted and Dave now having a 'weapon' to use, the situation suddenly seemed less gray than before. Dave climbed back to the front and waited for any other Stalwart with the malicious intention of stopping them in their track to appear.
When two more Stalwarts tried to emerge from newly broken ground, Dave gave them his trademark smile. Before they could even attack, he pointed Ajax forward and opened its jaws, releasing the massive ray of light. The attack was not going to kill the Stalwarts, that would be too much for Dave to hope for, but it had enough of a Knockback effect that once it touched the first, it blasted it from where it stood to god knows where.
There was enough power emerging from the shield that Dave had time to do a half-assed circular motion with his hand due to how much pressure the shield was giving while it shot the light ray back out.
Yet in his clumsy stunt, he managed to sheer off the ground and hit more Stalwarts that were unfortunate enough to stand in the Skill's effect. This provided Dave with a much-needed breather and enough time to escape the encirclement, rendering the efforts of the Ash King totally useless.
Grumpy ran ahead as the path forward was clear, in only a few seconds they would reach the perimeter of the Drow Kingdom where it should be relatively safe. The Stalwarts behind Dave kept a close chase, but unless something drastic happened the draugr and his mount should arrive safely before the Stalwarts could close their jaws upon his boney self.
A lone robed man stood In the distance, hands behind his back, and a gentle smile plastered across his face. If one looked close enough they would notice a small fang peeking from under that grandpa like smile.
At that moment Dave knew that all would be well. Dortha made a grasping motion then pointed behind Dave.
Loud high-pitched squealing tore through space and let a large chunk of broken void hang mid-air. From within it, hands the size of tree trunks emerged, emaciated, rotten and disgusting to look at, the slaying tools of the Wendigos when they first came to this world, welcoming the arrival of the beasts that allowed the Legion to be feared by all the players of the game.
Wendigos by the dozens emerged from the void, tall as city gates, devoid organs yet never from rage and malice. The Wendigos had the heads of wolves and antlers of deer, and even a lion's ferocity couldn't hold a candle to these creatures.
The emaciated creatures ran forward, bulldozing through the ground like a grade six hurricane. Their two unproportioned hands, the smallest, clawing at the ground to give the creature more speed, the heaviest, mightiest and largest of hands dragged across the ground. Yet when the first Wendigo arrived to battle, they used their heavy hands to smash down upon the Stalwart facing it.
Wendigos and Stalwarts began a battle of giants where Dave had no say or impact on if he decided to join. 'Leave the giants to the giants,' he thought and he moved ahead with Grumpy rushing between Wendigo legs and to the safety of the Drow Kingdom.
The fight against the forces of the Ash King ended soon, with the latter withdrawing his forces after a stifled grunt of rage. He had lost a tool that could kill gods, and now he was at a serious disadvantage against the Undead.
Grumpy stopped right as he reached Dortha, his nostrils flaring in exertion, hot vapor spiraled out from them. Dortha patted the big creature on the head then handed him a corn cone to munch on. It must have been from Dorta's small farm where he raised crops.
"Kis'Shtiengbrah," Dortha spoke, "Seeing the Ash King himself coming after you is a good sign. I assume that means you have fulfilled his Majesty's task?"
"Yep, got the bolt right here," Dave answered while patting his side bag with a proud expression.
"Wonderful. I can't wait to tell the other Abyssal Knights how mad the Ash King was that he not only personally chased after you, but more importantly failed to catch you. They'll all have a good laugh about this."
"I also can't wait to hand this thing over to His Majesty. It's been nothing but trouble since the moment I laid my hands on it."
"As it should be. What else would you expect from a weapon that can slay gods? It certainly is worth waging war for. Now, enough talk. His Majesty surely awaits you. Go and tend to him and let me be the first to welcome you to our ranks."
"Right I'm on it," Dave tore open a Teleportation Scroll pulling himself and Grumpy to the Dead Realm. Dave rode on Grumpy's back across the streets of the Undead City and arrived at the Bone Palace gate. None of the Undead dared to cross his way or stop him to question why he used a mount in the King's palace. They all knew that Dave had been sent on a mission to become the seventh Abyssal Knight after Deadra's exile.
Dave climbed off of Grumpy and ran up the spiral staircases. He arrived to see the Undead King with company. Before him was a slightly healthier looking Dagla, a still missing a limb Samael, although the ghoul did not appear as bruised anymore and Lilith who stood aloof against a pillar of the throne room. Marik, and Dementi were nowhere to be seen.
The Undead King stood up from his throne and marched forward until he stopped in front of Dave. The two gazed at each other for a few seconds before Dave pulled out the bolt to the surprise and stupefaction of everyone in the room.
"But, you just set out a few hours ago?!" Samael was the first to regain his voice and saying what was on everyone's mind. What almost took the life out of him and what cost him weeks of infiltration and planning had been accomplished in mere hours…
"Not to mention he's not as beaten up as you were, Samael," Lilith teased as she sent some lecherous gazes at Dave.
The Undead King held one hand up, shutting everyone in the room, "Son," the Undead King addressed him in an unfamiliar tone. "We have sent you on a task that We expected you to fail on. We believed that you were not quite ready to become an Abyssal Knight yet, but once again you have proven to Us that We have placed meager trust in your abilities," the Undead King took a step back and bowed to Dave.
Everyone in the room was shocked to see the Undead King's behavior, even Dave himself.
"Wow! Hold up, no need for all this. Your Majesty, please get back up, I mean I mostly got lucky," Dave said flustered.
"Nonsense, luck had nothing to do with this. The very task of retrieving this from the Ash King's home of power had been nothing short of suicide. You were supposed to see first hand what we would be dealing with soon. We hoped that experience would have allowed you to ponder on how you could improve yourself even more, but We were wrong. And for that, an apology is needed. We made a mistake, so for that We ask your forgiveness even if We are King," The Undead King explained.
"There really is no need. I've always thought that becoming an Abyssal Knight shouldn't be any less difficult than this task. It was a great way to prove oneself," Dave replied with a smile on his face.
"And you have proven yourself wonderfully so," the Undead King agreed. "Prepare to accept the mantle of one of my generals. From today on there shall be 7 Abyssal Knights again."
Dave didn't know what the King meant when he told him to prepare, but he sure hadn't expected for the King to stab his light consuming sword right through the chest.
The King's black sword pierced through with ease, not leaving a dent or crack in his armor, yet it also wasn't doing any type of Damage.
Conquest Server Announcement!
Player Kis'Shtiengbrah has succeeded in rising through the Ranks of the Undead and becoming the 7th Abyssal Knight for the Undead Legion!
Player Kis'Shtiengbrah has earned the ability to become a World Boss.
Player Kis'Shtiengbrah has officially claimed the title: Undead Prince
The Undead King will host a coronation ceremony to officially adopt and crown Kis'Shtiengbrah as his heir to be!
May the Undead reign forever, and may darkness forever cover the world!
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